'Yesterday I went for an interview and hoped, throughout
it all, that I wouldnıt get the job'.
I never went for psychotherapy,
though several people Iıve known have, some probably because of me, some
at least partly. Last Tuesday I woke up with an ant in my ear. Lately
Iıve been pretending to leave the apartment and instead hiding in a towel
closet near the bathroom and listening to my girlfriend move about. Twice
I heard her masturbate deliciously. I close my eyes while driving on the
freeway sometimes, and count. Once I got to eighteen. I like Jehovah's
Witnesses coming to my door and sometimes invite them in, then disagree
with everything they say. I flip channels looking for street fights and
spontaneous, filmed violence and often find it. Policemen clubbing people
is an especially prized clip. I have sexually explicit dreams about people
I know and never mention it to them. I am a consistent personfor three
years I orgasmed every time I engaged in the sex act. I am living with
a girl who wants me to move out. In the meantime, she gives me piano lessons.
I object to her jewelry. I don't like metal against the skin, mine or
anyoneıs. Iıve never understood why people must hang ornaments from their
ears and drape chains around their necks. It's like the feeling of sweat
you get in your palm when clutching a handful of penniesvery distasteful.
She has one dull silver bracelet that particularly irks me and once I
wouldnıt let her touch me with it on. I have never owned or fired a gun
but now I am thinking of buying one. I saw an ad that sells them by mail
order. Every night I wake up at exactly three-thirty and lie awake until
exactly five o'clock. I've been following the career of a baseball player
who has my name. Heıs a pitcher with a losing record.
I had a job but I came to work barefoot and they fired me. I have had
several good ideas to write on toilet walls lately but didn't have a pencil
with me. On Sundays I visit a friend who's in prison and sometimes pretend
I'm a convicted killer and wonıt be going home. It's a different feeling
then, when I leave. The girl I live with is unhappy that I decline all
social invitations and still havenıt met her parents. She invited them
over last month and I went to a movie. At the end of every day I read
my horoscope to see how completely wrong it was. My mother believes in
God and goes to church and prays for me and I wonder if prayers can work
for atheists. The girl I live with is distressed that she has not met
my mother. This girl I live with tells everything to her psychotherapist.
I know she talks about me. Often I imagine that he likes hearing about
me. He probably knows by now that I have no money, she always reminds
me of that fact.
I have one plate, one knife, one fork and one spoon, so I never have to
wash dishes. People have much more than they need and work hard to earn
money to buy more things they don't need. My girlfriend wants me to do
that also. She has a full set of china stacked ìn the cabinet and mostly
eats off paper plates. I use coupons to buy food. Occasionally I lose
a hundred dollars at the horse track. I never time my long distance calls.
I was married and divorced once and sometimes the phone rings and nobodyıs
there. I wonder if it's the kid, and I say her name lightly into the receiver
but never hear anything.
I hate holidays, theyıre just promotional gimmicks with no feeling. This
girl I mentioned gets emotional over the news but doesn't know what's
happening in our neighborhoodI think it's a national symptom. We have
a lot of sex and always argue immediately afterwards. I press my ear to
the thin walls of our apartment and I can hear the middle-aged man next
door arguing with his sister on the telephone. Recently, I picked an extremely
ugly girl up hitchhiking. She had looked okay from behind, walking with
her thumb outstretched. I have no insurance on my car, as I don't believe
I went to college and experienced the entire range of the grade scale,
A, B, C, D, E, F, I, W, S and U, before dropping out. During one fight,
this girl I live with sprayed perfume all over me, some stuff I had bought
her. I was stopped at the supermarket and asked to register for the election
and replied, "I have never voted, and I'm proud of it."
My girlfriend says her psychotherapist never says a word. She complains
if I don't talk about things with her. I have a friend who is gay and
pretends he isn't and we talk about the many women he has had. Yesterday
I went for an interview and hoped, throughout it all, that I wouldnıt
get the job. I evaluate every girl I see as my next possible companion,
but I do not say a word to any one of them. I smash most bugs but let
spiders go. When I hear the neighbour girl 's high heels on the sidewalk
I imagine forcing her into sex from behind. The girl I live with wears
colored contact lenses and has blue eyes, brown eyes and green eyes. I
spend most of some days waiting for the mail.
The other night I recorded my girlfriend in bed without her knowing. On
the tape I have her moans and soft cries and then her demand that I move
out. I used to be against war, but now I think I would be the first to
volunteer in the event of one. After each psychotherapy session, my girlfriend
puts a blanket over the window and lies down in darkness. I have never
contemplated suicide. The lady downstairs takes in stray dogs and one
barks constantly. I have made several appointments to see new apartments
and not shown up for any of them. The girl I live with has accused me
of hating her family, whom I have never met. There is a neighbour who
screams at his wife and every afternoon I sit and listen for his daily
I calculated that my girlfriend spends over three hundred dollars a month
on her psychotherapist. I have smashed a clock radio, kicked a hole in
a door, torn several photographs and broken a chaìr during our disagreements.
One late night we made furious love on the stairs outside our apartment.
When a neighbor knocked yesterday, I watched him for awhile through the
peephole but didnıt answer. Neither of us has vacuumed the carpet since
we moved in together. I learned one song on the piano and play it over
and over. My girlfriend once stayed in the bathtub for an entire day.
She has had herself tested for AIDS, examined for breast cancer twice
and on numerous occasions she assured me she was pregnant.
I saw a classified ad that said "Will do anything for $3,000." I wrote
and answered a personal ad from a single woman looking for a man. Recently
I planned several errands, meetings and short trips, but sat still in
my room all day instead. I devised my own personal ad 'Preying Mantis
seeks edible mate for mutual devouring'. My girlfriend always uses our
assigned parking space and makes me park in the street. I wonder what
her therapist would say about that. I know what I would say to her therapist
if I made an appointment. I would never do that, never waste money on
a psychotherapist. But I know what I would say, that thanks to her treatments
I have learned what is wrong with me. I know what else I would tell him.
I would tell him it was none of his business, that he isnıt entitled to
eavesdrop on my life, that she doesnıt need his advice and that he shouldnıt
encourage her to get rid of me. I know how I would do it, too. I'd do
it by bursting in on them during her session. I've followed her and know
where the office is. After all, it's almost like catching them in bed
together. That's how I'd do it, I'd burst in with a gun and thereıd be
no more talking.
© G.N. HARRIS
This is Greg's first piece for Hacks - if you liike it, tell us at Mail
or tell him at
Author Bio: G.N. Harris has written for the small screen, literary journals,
newspapers and magazines. His novel "Highlights
from a Lowlife" is available through Barnes&Noble.com
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